(courtesy oig.lacounty.gov)

In 2014, LA County Sheriffs Department (LASD) swapped out their Beretta 92F’s for the Smith & Wesson M&P9; from a handgun with an external safety and an 11.5 pound initial trigger pull, to a handgun without an external safety and a consistent 6.5 pound trigger pull. The County purchased some 6100 M&P’s in all. The Office of Inspector General County of Los Angeles has just released a report on the change entitled Assessing the Rise in Unintended Discharges Following the Sheriff’s Department’s Conversion to a New Handgun.  According to the OIG’s Executive Summary . . .

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD or Department) personnel. The information suggested that the recent adoption of a new standard issue pistol that was not equipped with an external manual safety had led to a steep rise in unintended discharges. The OIG, therefore, began a review that analyzed the introduction, training and performance record of the new handgun in the LASD to determine whether there was indeed a rise in unintended discharges, their likely causes, and any promising remedies suggested by the facts. We found a sharp increase in unintended tactical discharges putting officers and the public at risk.

Even without reading the 52-page report, TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia could not doubt tell the OIG both the causes and cure for the rise in “tactical” negligent discharges (NDs) – from three in 2012 to 19 in 2014. Our AI would finger poor training (so so speak). And guess what? They’d be right! All of the ND’s involved deputies pulling the trigger at the wrong time! Imagine that. Here’s the breakdown:

(courtesy big.lacounty.gov)The report’s Executive Summary says the number of “non-tactical unintended discharges have remained roughly constant.” Yet a chart reveals that “non-tactical” ND’s increased from 13 in 2012 to 31 in 2014. None of the ND’s resulted in injury to the general public.(courtesy big.lacounty.gov)The OIG admits that the data upon which it relied upon to prepare its report was not entirely reliable. “The process of review by memorandum was inadequate to assess the responsibility of individual deputies for unintended discharges and to identify an emerging Department-wide issue.” What are the odds that a number of LASD ND’s went unreported? By the same token, the descriptions of ND’s in the OIG’s report don’t give readers much confidence in officer selection and training.

–  A deputy was taking his pistol out of the trunk of his patrol car when he unintentionally depressed the trigger.

-  A deputy reached into a locker to remove an M&P belonging to his partner. He thought he was grabbing the grip and light grip switch when, in fact, one finger was on the trigger and the gun fired.

–  A deputy was in a locker room getting ready to go into the field. His holster and tactical vest were hanging on the locker door. While he was placing his M&P pistol into the holster, the antennae from his radio, which was in a vest pouch, entered the trigger guard, caught on the trigger and a round discharged.

-  A deputy intended to activate the light with a grip switch to check if it was working but instead unintentionally discharged one round.

-  A deputy was inexplicably directing traffic with the weapon-mounted light rather than with a flashlight as trained by the LASD. The deputy discharged one round while doing so. This gun light did not have a grip switch attached.

(courtesy big.lacounty.gov)As the top chart above indicates, the LASD suffered four flashlight-related tactical ND’s involving the Surefire X300 Ultra flashlights in 2014. They accounted for 32 percent of all tactical ND’s. The guns purchased by LA County (at $625 for the firearm and flashlight system) included an optional pressure grip activation switch. The OIG report goes into detail about the dangers of the switch, including the fact that the Denver Police Department banned their use after two fatal flashlight-related ND’s. Dangers that were ignored by the LASD.

In fact, when it was lobbying for the conversion from the Beretta to the Smith & Wesson handgun, the LA County Sheriff’s Department argued that “No training costs are required as the current handgun mounted light training certification only requires watching a thirty minute department video via the internet. This training video can be watched during the course of a normal shift.” That changed . . .

The OIG’s report pegs the officers’ total training time on the new weapon at eight hours. The Executive Summary admits that “few agencies consider that amount sufficient. Deputies received an unspecified amount of classroom training on low light tactics and use of the gun-mounted light, and two hours of low-light outdoor training.

During low light training, attendees were taught to activate the weapon light using their non-gun hand to flip the toggle switch on the light itself or to use the DG pressure lever along the front of the hand grip, if they had purchased this additional mechanism.

Instructors made several references to the ease and reliability of the grip switch mechanism and recommended, for those attendees who already had it on their guns, to activate the grip switch while drawing the pistol out of its holster, so as to make this action an automatic part of the gun draw process and eliminate a potentially distracting decision-making process at some later time in the incident.

“They were warned to only use the weapon light in potential deadly force encounters and to use their separate handheld flashlight for other illumination purposes.” Clearly, that didn’t happen in several instances. Regardless, the OIG concluded that “the initial conversion process was well thought out, challenging and appeared adequately staffed.”

The training did not include force-on-force training – the only way to prepare officers to use their safety-less M&P and SureFire flashlight-equipped system under stress. Despite the OIG’s attaboy, the report states that “Conversion training is insufficient to overcome old habits.” Specifically . . .

Employees who may have worked with the Beretta 92F for twenty years are sent home with a new handgun and a gun light after four hours of live fire training where they have had to rapidly acquire new skills. It is very difficult to determine whether a specific aspect of training has been incorporated by the trainee sufficiently to show up reliably months or years later when circumstances may call for it. This is especially true of shooting-related training because most sworn personnel fire their weapons at suspects extremely rarely if at all during their careers.

In this regard, given the dramatic rise in unintended discharges, tracking the increase in the number of sworn employees who have converted from their prior firearm to the M&P may currently provide the best available feedback on whether the conversion training is effective as the LASD does not have pre-set follow-up training for use of the M&P pistol, let alone the gun-mounted light in night time conditions.

(courtesy oig.lacounty.gov)

The graph above shows the penalty meted out to officers who created an ND. The OIG report says that none of these officers received firearms re-training, and recommends that the practice become mandatory.

The OIG report proves that the LASD failed to properly equip, train and discipline its deputies in regards to their firearms. This is a nationwide problem that should be addressed by a thorough review of firearms training by every police force in the country. Improvements should include increasing the amount of training and improving its quality. By shining a light on the LASD’s failure during the switch to M&P handguns, the OIG makes that point perfectly clear.

108 Responses to LA Sheriff Department’s Swap to Smith & Wesson M&P Highlights Inadequate Police Training

  1. Maybe they should use revolvers. Revolvers should be good enough, since everybody knows that the criminals in California are not allowed to use assault weapons, guns holding more than ten rounds, or guns that are not properly designated by the state to be drop safe.

    • At least with a revolver, they wouldn’t be able to pump 16 rounds into a jay walker or hose down the neighborhood. I would like to see the “target hit rate per round fired” for officers who fired their sidearm in performance of their duty.. If its below 60%, give them revolvers.

      Personally I think there are too many people, on and off the force, who think they are Wild Bill Hickok and need the extra microsecond “wasted” with a manual safety. If they need extra training to keep their fingers off a 6.5 lb trigger, then the extra training could be used to sweep off a manual safety upon draw. Less holes in the lockers, mirrors, car doors, etc….

      Ridge

  2. Uhmm, do they teach the 4, rules of gun handling in California?
    That whole booger hook, bang switch thing is pretty important.

    • These more recent articles on the ADs/NDs of the LASD are failing to mention that for the last 20 years they carried the Beretta 92F, and taught their deputies to place their finger on the trigger as soon as the weapon was on target. Their previous training mantra was “On target, on trigger”. Run a search for that phrase along with “LASD” in about June of this year, and you’ll find many articles about it.

      The Beretta trigger pull is almost twice the weight and twice the travel distance before firing as the M&P. These folks aren’t gonna break 10, 15, 20 years of old training habits with a quicky transition course. I’m actually amazed that there haven’t been MORE unintentional discharges.

      Combine this with “squeeze SECOND finger for light, squeeze FIRST finger for Boom” potential confusion, and they are lucky their AD/ND rate isn’t 25%.

    • Yeah, they recite the four rules once, and make the whole class repeat it. Then never mention it again.
      Kinda like a doctor’s Hippocratic oath. Want a laugh? Someday ask your doctor what his oath was. Then, when he can’t remember a word of it, ask him how he can know he is following it when he doesn’t even know what it was.
      Then, be prepared to get a different doctor, because he will remember you forever, and NOT in a good way.
      More like in the “it was one case in a million”(their trained standard response to any mistake- Dr. Mendelsohn in “Confessions of a Medical Heretic”: http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Medical-Heretic-Robert-Mendelsohn/dp/0809241315 ), kind of a way.

  3. Proving that the LAPD are a bunch of under-trained dipsticks who clearly don’t have the training necessary to undertake the responsibility of carrying loaded firearms.

    • This is LASD, not LAPD. A little different. Not saying they’re any better than the latter, but different ethos in some ways, especially since they have to do corrections for at least a couple of years before they go to patrol.

      Regardless of the agency, it goes to show, training is paramount. Teach ’em how to run the gun, teach ’em how to maintain the gun, and for frack’s sake, teach ’em how to keep their booger hook off the bang switch. High speed gear makes it easier to focus if you have the training, if you don’t, it’ll just trip ya up.

      Wonder what LAPD’s ND numbers were when they went from Beretta 92’s to Glocks?

  4. I’m supposed to keep my finger off the _____ until clear target in sights.
    A. Flashlight
    B. Radio
    C. Nose
    D. Trigger

    Hmmm…..

    • I’ve tried my best to soak up those surplus K frames over the years. The thought of them homeless and unloved in storage is heart breaking.

      • I know. I should have beat you to the corner on the market years ago.

        We could be making a profit by re-blueing them, making sure the lockwork is correct, and selling them back to LEO’s at $800/copy.

  5. I would prefer a DA/SA Sig P226 or Beretta 92FS over a striker-fired pistol with a light, consistent trigger pull.

    I recently bought a P320 but decided to use it as a home defense weapon instead of a carry gun because the trigger pull is very light and there isn’t a safety.

    I think the P320 trigger is so light that it could cause a discharge while holstering. If I carry in the 4 o’clock position, it is possible to catch the trigger on the holster because it is hard to tell the exact pistol position while inserting.

    The DA trigger pull on both the P226 and 92FS are just stiff enough to make this problem noticeable before discharge.

      • They do absolutely nothing positive at all for either NYPD deputies nor the population they are supposed to protect. They do benefit perps a little, and the lawyers arguing for it a lot. And the latter, as usual, call all the shots, despite being their usual clueless self.

        Just adding weight does virtually nothing, as long as pull length is not affected. During training, deputies just get used to pulling harder, and their trigger finger muscles grow bigger and stronger, while sensitivity goes down. Without a longer pull, there is still zero feedback telling the shooter he is now pullig a trigger, before the trigger breaks.

        Accuracy goes to hell, especially on a Glock, since it is designed around a light, short, “single action” trigger, not to be a grip strength training device. Just as S&W and others figured about about 130 years ago, the steep raked wrist angle that adds pointability to a Single Action revolver, doesn’t work well for a heavy double action pull, so a more vertical grip allowing for more wrist dexterity to keep the sights remaining on target DURING the pull, is indicated.

        Glocks were originaly designed for military use, where “we” are on this side, “they” on the other, and an AD/ND is the their problem. With care and training, they can still be used effectively in less predictable surroundings. But in general, if experience shows a lack of those, getting a gun design more specific to such surroundings, is a god idea. Like revolvers, and DA/DAK triggered guns. Sticking with the Glock, and just hampering it (to the point where officers are no longer allowed to carry a gun with a trigger as AD/ND proof as a Kahr because of mandated desensitized trigger fingers), is the worst of all possible worlds.

    • I really wanna see a slo mo video of a P320 dropped on the backstrap. Dunno what the inertia of the trigger shoe would do

    • If you use a holster that will stay open for reholstering (kydex, leather with hard inserts) and don’t rotate the gun during reholstering, the trigger guard alone should keep any obstructions out of the trigger’s path. That being said, you carry what you want to carry and drive on.

  6. Man, I wish civs got that type of ‘punishment’ for commiting a ND. Written reprimand sure sounds better than getting charged for a crime.

  7. We found a sharp increase in unintended tactical discharges putting officers and the public at risk.
    Yes, the po-po are a threat to public safety.
    This the same department that blasted two hispanic ladies versus some black renegade cop where the trucks were not the same size or color?

    • I ran across this as a CNN Reports article earlier today with the headline:

      Sharp Increase in Unintended Tactical Discharges Putting Officers and the Public at Risk

      Followed by a picture of the M&P with the caption:

      “Accidental discharges increased by 500%” (From 3 to 19, out of 6,100 pistols in use, or .003%, if my math is correct) Scare tactics, much?

  8. we need an special prosecutor here. smith and wesson apparently provided defective firearms to law enforcement, i guess. since there is no companion rise in accidental discharges among the less trained, less skilled, less professional civilian purchasers, what other conclusion can we come to?

    • Most cops arent POTGs especially in California and especially urban Sheriffs Deputies. Deputies in urban areas rarely ever carry guns because their main job is corrections due to the lack of unincorporated areas. As an institution this means that firearms training, proficiency, and awareness usually take a back seat to other department issues…… If you’re going to be a government mandated POTG then it SHOULD always be a primary issue…. But SHOULD and IS are rarely ever the same thing in bureaucracies….. Remember this is the same place (LA county) where they banned ALL high cap magazines and forgot to make an LE exception…. Secondary considerations.

      • So? They shouldn’t have a cop carve-out when they do unconstitutional, irrational crap like hi-cap mag bans. Just issue full-size M&P45s, Glock 30(S)s, .45 PX4s, P227s, HK45s, and/or Glock 26s, and tell the officers to get gud.

    • LASD “accidental” discharges increased 500% (!) in the first year of using the M&P. My “accidental” (negligent) discharges increased 100% the first year I owned my Ruger SR9c. I was trying to find the trigger reset point on the range and miss-judged the smoothness of the stock trigger and its light pull. Shot went into the ceiling at the range. First and only ND in 47 years. I guess that makes the Ruger a safer pistol than the M&P?

      • 0 NDs to 1 ND is not 100% increase, it is an infinite% increase (due to the weird mathematics surrounding zero). Taken at that statistic, the Ruger is an INFINITELY more dangerous weapon.

        16/3=5.333 = 533% increase
        0/1=infinite = infinite% increase

      • I don’t believe that a firearm discharged downrange while learning its attributes could ever be called an ND. That is just silly. You cannot know just how your firearm works unless you go and learn it. A bunch can be learned before you ever own a bullet, but some things it has to be loaded for. Stop kicking yourself.

  9. How hard is it to keep the finger out unless firing. I know it takes training, but having a range officer yell finger helps. What really works is have the officers handle and pass around one of the training pistols that beep when you put your finger in the guard. As for gun mounted flashlights, I like the idea of using your support hand to operate them. I’m going to have to give that a try.

    • Yeah I’ve been carrying a Glock as a police for years now and I’ve never had an issue with it… Four rules are the four rules regardless of where you and your gun are

  10. This is what happens when you train people intentionally to violate Rule #3, while relying on a heavy trigger pull to mitigate the risk associated with an inherently unsafe practice.

    • “This is what happens when you train people intentionally to violate Rule #3, while relying on a heavy trigger pull to mitigate the risk associated with an inherently unsafe practice.”

      And then issue them a pistol with a shorter, lighter trigger pull and expect them to change 10-20 years of habits based on previous training, overnight. Not. Gonna. Happen.

      • Well, it’s going to happen. What is your solution, exactly? Just keep issuing guns with stupid heavy triggers? That’s worked out great for the NYPD. Oh wait, no it hasn’t.

        • Well, I’d start with heavy emphasis in the classroom during transition training, with an overview by senior officers/staff describing the problem and detailing the negative outcomes already experienced, and why an officer really doesn’t want to get added to that list. I’d have each officer sign a short statement for his/her file saying that they understand the policy has changed, that breaking old habits and making new ones takes serious mental and physical effort, and that they will make a concerted effort to not only adhere to the new policy, but to help others do so, as well (peer-pressure reminders can be very effective).

          Then I’d increase their training time with blue-gun or red-gun dry-fire-capable pistols, running EVERY SINGLE OFFICER though multiple scenarios (live-action AND electronic), both exciting/rare and boring/common/everyday scenarios, with major emphasis on breaking bad habits and ingraining new ones.

          I’d modify the pistol qualification course of fire, requiring the rangemaster to deliberately add a few reactive “stepped” phases throughout the qualification that required the officer to draw and come up on target but NOT fire, with RSOs checking trigger-finger positions of all officers during these “on-target” drills. Anyone who was caught going finger-on-trigger more than once during qualifications would get “special remedial training”, probably during their off-duty hours, both to reinforce good habits and provide negative emphasis on bad ones.

          But I’m old-school when it comes to making folks responsible for their actions. Most “modern” administrators wouldn’t even consider stuff like this — even though it would almost certainly work to reduce AD/ND incidents.

        • Issue guns with non-stupid, slightly heavier, LONGER and more feedback rich triggers. Like DA wheelguns, and SIG/HK/Kahr autos that try to mimic those.

          Triggers whose “failure” mode is to reduce qual scores, give very immediate and unambiguous feedback that you need to train more. While triggers that allows officers to stumble through a qual halfway without a clue, and fail by being occasionally being too easy to break, can easily give a false sense of confidence in the competency of oneself and those one are responsible for qualifying.

          Aside from in very specialized units, there is no need for police to carry weapons with “better” triggers than a DAK of LEM. It may take a few more boxes of training ammo to reach a similar proficiency as with a Glock/M&P, but who bloody cares. Aside from perhaps bean counters getting sticker shock from looking at Sig/HK pricelists.

        • Or we could just take their striker fired autos and issue the warehouses full of DA revolvers that sit unused in most depts. It would solve both the LEO accuracy and ND problems in one stroke, and at no cost.
          BUT, we don’t have time for rational solutions. Much easier to fence off another square state.
          🙂

        • Sorry to bust your bubble, Kenneth, but there were plenty of NDs/ADs when cops were carrying DA revolvers too; we just didn’t have the Internet back then to spread the word about them.

          I helped investigate some of those ADs/NDs. Try to imagine a cop telling everyone that he never took the revolver out of the holster, and never even unfastened the hammer-blocking strap, but he managed to “accidentally” put a hole in the wall of the gate shack (enclosed holster bottom was fine, too; no holes at all).

          Yeah, right.

        • OFC, no one thing is going to make all ‘accidents’ just disappear, but you are aware that this problem has developed since the introduction of semi-autos to police dept’s back in the 1980s, yes? You are aware the rates correlate, at the minimum, yes? That the problem of AD/ND has worsened greatly since then? You have seen the graphs?

        • Yes, I’ve seen the “official” rates, and the graphs built with the “official rates”. But I’ve also seen the old holes in the walls, lockers, gate-shacks, and vehicles that resulted in no “official” reports, so they never “officially” happened. Back in the day, if you were a good cop/troop, or buddies with the Captain, or a relative of the Chief, stuff like that might get overlooked. Nowadays, not so much.

          So yeah, I’ve seen the numbers, but as usual, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Many of the ADs/NDs today probably happen for different reasons (ignorance, stupidity, lack of training), where 30-40+ years ago the list of most common reasons might have read: drunk on duty, careless, done on a bet/dare, practicing your quick-draw (which is also why many of these never got officially reported; no police chief ever wanted to have to publicly acknowledge any of these “reasons”).

        • The problems of drunk and otherwise impaired officers on duty is far worse today than it ever was before, just like NDs are. There are lots more of them now that go unreported compared to yesteryear as well.
          You know this just as well as I do, although you will probably never admit to that, most likely being an administrative official yourself.
          Please don’t pretend that officers are oh so much better now than they used to be, or I’ll just have to start posting sources to the ridiculous crap you use to justify the unjustifiable. Are you aware of the current scandle of the two officers who shot each other, and then murdered the bicycle rider they had stopped, in order to put the blame unto the victim of their insane stupidity?
          If you are unaware, Id be glad to post links for you, its current news, even though the actual event was a yerar ago, a solid year of ubrelenting lies from their dept. But trhey finnally were forced to release the video, which they have known about for a year, while still claiming that the murdered victim was at fault.
          Go ahead, try to explain how things like THAT used to happen in the 1970s.
          NO, THEY DIDN’T!
          Police, like everyone else, have their crazy’s every once in a while, but when the system spends a year covering it up, that is NOT a lone crazy, THAT is a systemic problem. And, if you like and profit from that system, it makes you part of the problem, not the solution.

        • The problems of drunk and otherwise impaired officers on duty is far worse today than it ever was before, just like NDs are. There are lots more of them now that go unreported compared to yesteryear as well.
          You know this just as well as I do, although you will probably never admit to that, most likely being an administrative official yourself.
          Please don’t pretend that officers are oh so much better now than they used to be, or I’ll just have to start posting sources to the ridiculous crap you use to justify the unjustifiable. Are you aware of the current scandal of the two officers who shot each other, and then murdered the bicycle rider they had stopped, in order to put the blame unto the victim for their insane stupidity?
          If you are unaware, I’d be glad to post links for you, its current news, even though the actual event was a year ago, a solid year of unrelenting lies from their dept. But they finally were forced to release the video, which they have known about for a year, while still claiming that the murdered victim was at fault.
          Go ahead, try to explain away how things like THAT used to happen in the 1970s too.
          NO, THEY DIDN’T!
          Police, like everyone else, have their crazy’s every once in a while, but when the system spends a year covering it up, that is NOT a lone crazy, THAT is a systemic problem. And, if you like and profit from that system, it makes you part of the problem, not the solution.

        • Of course they occurred in the ’70s, too, probably FAR more often than today, but nobody could prove it. In the ’60s, or the ’50s, or the ’40s, and so on, anything a cop said was gospel, no one even THOUGHT to question the irrefutable evidence that the lies of cops entailed. Given absolute immunity from any charges because you were special snowflakes did nothing to encourage honesty, only to enforce strict discipline on other cops, fuck everybody else.
          And in answer to your question, the answer is clearly to disarm all police officers. Then we’ll see how they feel about how safe that makes the public.

        • Did this kind of thing used to happen regularly also?
          http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/NYPD-Officer-Arrested-in-2014-Altercation-Captured-on-Surveillance-Cameras-363290131.html
          “As Disisto went to switch on the phone’s video camera, Munoz jumped on him(ASSAULT AND BATTERY!) and tried to grab the phone(INTERFERING WITH A COMMUNICATION DEVICE), according to surveillance video. Officers pushed him into the back of a police car, placed him under arrest(FALSE ARREST, VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS) and tossed the phone out the window(DESTRUCTION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY) before driving off.” – [my comments in caps, ken]
          Now for my question: If this is NOT a systemic problem, but just officer Munoz going mad, then why did it take those in charge 18 MONTHS to figure out that he should be charged for all these offenses?
          And yes, this systemic problem DID exist back in the day, just google NYC officer Frank Serpico and read the history. But it has grown very much worse since then, because we all refuse to recognize it as a problem, thus it just gets worse and worse with the passage of time, like all problems that humans refuse to address.
          But don’t take my word for it(or anybody else’s either). Do some reading for yourself. Perhaps start here:
          http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/04/north-charleston-shooting-116871.html#.VoA05r92GFQ
          EXCERPT= “In the case of former Officer Michael Slager of the North Charleston police, it appears he was being extra-careful to cover his tracks. Probably he could have gotten away with simply declaring, as he did in his radioed report, that Walter Scott “took my Taser,” and in the after-action report he would have said simply that he had felt threatened by Scott. That probably would have sufficed to exonerate him. But Slager, having shot Scott eight times in the back—as everyone can plainly see in the now-famous video—perhaps felt that he needed a little help explaining what he was up to. So he apparently dropped his Taser next to Scott’s body, which would obviously help to make the case that Scott “took my Taser.” If you think that what happened in North Charleston is a unique case, it is not.” – -Frank Serpico, April 10, 2015

  11. “The reality is that employees who may have worked with the Beretta 92F for twenty years are sent home with a new handgun and a gun light after four hours of live fire training where they have had to rapidly acquire new skills.”

    Indeed. The “new skills” being not relying on the safety and trigger pull to mitigate a$$clownery.

  12. ‘Regripping after control loss’ sounds a lot like trying to catch a falling pistol. Let it fall; that’s what drop safeties are for.

  13. That passive voice in much of the quotes report really bugs me. It sounds like an attempt to shuck responsibility for what happened. This isn’t as bad as many we’ve seen here before, but still.

    A gun is an object. It has no free will. It has no motors, no PLC control system that will make it “do something” all by itself (or at least these don’t). If it goes off it’s because – barring a mechanical failure – somebody did something that resulted in the trigger being pushed back far enough that the gun fired. Period. End of story.

    • While you’re pretty much tautologically correct, the same can be said for defending your home by surrounding it with landmines, and “training” visitors to tip toe around them. Or driving “defensively” enough not to “need” ABS brakes.

      This is obviously a training issue, but it is ALSO an equipment issue. Austrians are perfect people (just listen to them contrast themselves with even the Germans whom the rest of us consider pretty perfect 🙂 ) What is “Perfection” to them, may be just a bit too demanding for mere mortals. Even if said mortals can, given enough time, dedication and resources, be trained to do a half decent “Perfection” imitation themselves.

  14. Hold on, are we not going to discuss this gem from the report?

    “A deputy was inexplicably directing traffic with the weapon-mounted light rather than with a flashlight as trained by the LASD. The deputy discharged one round while doing so. This gun light did not have a grip switch attached.”

    There is so much fail in that quote. And I’m guessing by the punishment chart, that this officer received at most a 4 day suspension. What would happen to a non-LEO if they were waving a loaded gun at traffic?

    • Deputy should have fired no questions asked. Beyond the criminally gross firearms safty issues, he/she demonstrated a complete lack of basic common sense…. You litterally cant trust this person with a flash light and they are charged with the monumentally complex task of enforcing the law while upholding civil rights?

    • That one jumped out at me, too. You can’t make this shit up. Waving and pointing his gun at motorists, and it didn’t occur to him that this might be a bad idea until he actually touched off a round?

      • And don’t forgeT the most important part of that; He was waving his loaded gun at traffic WITH HIS FINGER ON THE TRIGGER!
        But, even if this officer DID get fired for this CRIMINALLY NEGLEGENT affair, he would just show up again as a new hire in the next county over. Or perhaps move from county to city or etc. Its how the blue line/old boy network works. They have raised avoiding responsibility for their own actions to an art form.

  15. Pete Malloy’s no longer riding the streets with his K frame/pencil barrel and everything goes in the crapper.

    (I know, I know; LASD not LAPD, but still…)

  16. ” A deputy was inexplicably directing traffic with the weapon-mounted light rather than with a flashlight as trained by the LASD. The deputy discharged one round while doing so. This gun light did not have a grip switch attached.”

    THIS is why we can’t have nice things. Departments are wary of even letting cops put lights on their sidearms because of this sort of idiocy.

  17. I think they need to start issuing Mag-Lights again as a primary flashlight. Keep the weapons mounted light and train the hell out of them but it seems to me officers are using the weapon mounded lights as their primary source of illumination even in non “life threatening” situations where a firearm does not need to be drawn.

    Also I’d love to know how the gun discharged while falling, probably from some dummie grabbing at it.

    • The idea is to distinguish between an ND/AD in situations where the gun is “in use”, versus when it is simply being cleaned etc., which is when most ND/ADs occur. “Tactical” ones, while perhaps sounding more “understandable” to the uninitiated, much more often occur with the gun pointed at actual people, and can be harder to train realistically for, since they occur under tough to simulate stress.

  18. Heavy triggers are no guarantee that it’s safe to leave your finger on the trigger. My local PD used to issue S&W model 10s. An officer shot himself in the leg during a foot pursuit when he reflexively pulled the trigger on stumbling. There’s no substitute for keeping your finger off the trigger. If the LASD taught their deputies otherwise, whoever designed the training program deserves a swift kick in the family jewels.

    Light triggers with no separate safety scare me. You can be conscientious about keeping your finger off the trigger only to have an unintended discharge because the trigger caught on something. S&W gives M&P buyers the option of a thumb safety. It won’t do any good if an officer runs around with it off and his finger on the trigger but, if used, it will remove the risk of an unintended discharge during actions like re-holstering.

    • Yes, but then you’d have deputies who have been carrying a safety-off Beretta for 10-20 years, suddenly having to learn to take the safety off just before they fire to defend their life. And the same training issues will pop up. For 20 years, all they had to do was pull the trigger; with safety levers on the new guns, they’d have to thumb-off the safety, then pull the trigger. And some of them would revert to the older/stronger training and forget the safety lever, and some of them that forgot it might die because of it.

      It’s “fail-safe” for the rest of us, but not for the officer.

      • With a 1911, which is not what I normally carry, “draw” is followed instantly by “sweep the safety”. “Holster” is preceded by “engage the safety”. In between, ND is prevented by not having a finger inside the trigger guard. Is this somehow rocket science, or is the problem more associated with the arrogance which results from having the unequivocal power of life and death over everyone around you, after being the dumbass in every class in high school, now is the time to get even? The LEO selection process needs to be examined.

  19. curious how many of those stories are total BS.

    “I was doing something stupid and fired my gun, but nobody saw so i’ll make up a story about my radio antenna”

    gotta be a few

    • Agree. I made the same comment a ways above this one, before I’d read yours.

      Great minds think alike, amiright?

    • A guy once sent a .308 flying over Los Angeles, ostensibly because he “had” to shoot a wasp that wouldn’t leave him alone, and messed with his aim and performance during a timed drill……

  20. TTAG’s review of the Ruger SR9C, which I have and some of you have, strongly advised to always use the safety when carrying because of the light trigger. I did not find a (rental) M&P9 to be nearly as light, but apparently the same issue. There is no excuse for some of these incidents. Directing traffic with a loaded gun? That guy should have been fired. Catches the trigger on his antenna? Mistakes the trigger for the light switch? Not good. On the other hand, I can well see someone with 20 years experience with a heavy trigger misjudging the trigger on the M&P. Like Cliff H, I had an unintentional discharge (I won’t call it negligent) with the Ruger while transitioning from my Taurus TCP. I was used to the DA long pull on the Taurus, and switched to the Ruger at the range. The trigger was so short and light in comparison that I discharged the weapon before it was fully aimed, because my finger was expecting the long trigger. No harm. It was pointed downrange. But no target hit, either. It was wild and embarrassing. I am now used to transitioning from the one to the other, and it has not happened again, but I can see it happening if someone acts reflexively with 20 years on the Beretta and very little practice time with the Smith and Wesson.

    • I accidentally double fired my SR40C after running light reloads, then switching to some federal 180 grain FMJs. I was horrified at first, then relieved to see a dust cloud in the berm about 6 feet above my target. Always maintain a firm grip!

      • I just, 2 weeks ago, UD’d my Glock stuffing a thick finger mitten (made for skiing, not shooting) into the trigger guard. Gun was pointed “towards” the target, but I’m still seriously contemplating going DAK, LEM, DA or Revolver (they interchange more readily) instead of sticking with striker guns. I shoot Glocks well, but only really “carry” in the woods, where it’s often cold enough to warrant trigger finger sensitivity reducing gloves.

        Not a chance in the world I wouldn’t have realized what was going on in time and corrected, if the gun was the P239 that’s been sitting in the safe for about 6 years. Smart carrying / belly ban carrying / compression shirt carrying a Glock while running, also give me some concern now…. I’m guessing the last holdouts (CZ excepted), HK and Sig, finally capitulating and going striker, signals the top of that particular market/trend……

  21. I repeat my earlier suggestions on how to arm police:

    S&W Model 10’s, six rounds of .38 Special in the gun, and two (and only two) speed-loaders.

    That’s all they get.

    That should focus their attention.

  22. That’s why guns should be left to professionals. Sorry about that. Do you think familiarity breeds contempt? I would hate to get shot as a deputy was trying to turn on the light. Maybe they need a separate light that can quickly clip onto the gun, or a plastic cover on the trigger guard that has to be ripped off before use?

    • “Plastic guard over the trigger that has to be ripped off before use”? You mean like a HOLSTER? And I’m pretty sure they have a separate light. The report states that the gun mounted light is to be used during lethal force events only. Stupid people are going to act stupid, no matter how much you try to stop them.

  23. Actually, I’m gonna join in the rock throwing here; how much training do you need to KEEP YOUR FRICKEN FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER?

    • A lot. And much of it under realistic firefight induced stress.

      Directing traffic with a loaded gun is so obviously stupid as to cross over into the flat out insane, but covering a suspect after a gun fight, with ears ringing and perhaps strong arm bleeding?

      People SHOULD keep their finger off the trigger, but this specific study was looking at before/after a gun changeover. They didn’t anti-train the poor deputies. Training drivers is a good thing, as well, but so is ABS brakes and stability control, for when things don’t go 100% as expected and trained for. Similarly, while the deputies should have been better trained (and/or perhaps more carefully selected in the case of the “traffic cop”…), an M&P may very well not be the right tool for this particular job.

  24. I think officers spend too much time handling their weapons with too little training to be entrusted with a gun without a safety.

    • I’m a fan of my series 80 1911 too, but what it all comes down to is that Safety Is Not A Lever, and it doesn’t matter how many devices a fool must operate to make a gun go boom, as much as it matters how you train that fool to not make that gun go boom when he doesn’t need it to go boom.

  25. You train people to make “split second life or death decisions”, time them in testing and chew them out when they don’t shoot first, and make them do all of this with a 12lb trigger.
    Result: They learn to keep 8lb preload on that 12lb trigger to speed up that first shot on the range.
    After a decade or two of this sort of training/practice, you give them a gun with a 6lb trigger, and act surprised when they pick it up and it goes boom.

    • +1.

      Ditto for the NYPD banning off duty carry of the Kahr K9 after replacing the standard Glock trigger with an NFL lineman loaded squat rack. And not figuring out why NYPD officer shooting accuracy, is the laughing stock of the internet to boot……

  26. I don’t get what’s so hard about training to not be a dumbass.
    I consider myself a average gun owner who happens to carry. Still I get at least a half hour a day practice in handling, drawing, holstering, dry firing, manipulating on top of my regular live fire range time. I tend to work it into my workouts during the rest between sets. That way my heart is pounding and my muscles are twitching and I have yet to manipulate the trigger without intent. I’ve trained out a decade of old habits for new ones in just a matter of weeks by working it everyday for a half hour at least. I used to be a big external safety guy and now my 1911’s and Beretta 92 collect dust. I had to completely relearn my grip when I bought a Sig p320 because I was riding the slide release. Now I don’t. Just a little practice goes a long way.

    If “highly trained professionals” can’t be expected to use their professional tools the same way any other craftsman would be expected to that “highly trained professional” should find work elsewhere.

    Instead of parking your fat ass in front of a TV with beer in hand for hours a day practice your tool. Practice your instrument. Don’t wait for your supervisor to schedule it or mandate it. Take pride in what you do and then practice to do it as well as you can. Or do something else.

  27. To be expected, after switching from Beretta after a long time of use. The cop shops are all guilty of this, although the LASD less so, constantly switching guns everytime they get some fresh seizure cash in the bank.

    The Berettas they got rid of probably had another 20 years left in them. Have you seen that many WW2 era 1911s that are “worn out?” No, they are still fully functional. But cop shops always have to have the latest greatest because the tax slaves or seizure money is paying for it. Going from a 12 pd first trigger pull to a 6 pd. and what did they expect?

    All the cops should be carrying Smith 4″ 38 Spl. revolvers, to cut down on the spray and pray bullet orgies. Giving them 17 rds only increases innocent bystanders chances of being hit. This has been proven time and time again. And the FACT is, the 38 Spl is more than adequate for stopping power, whereas 17 rds of 9MM just makes the cops trigger happy.

    • Just like in competition, lighter and more consistent trigger pull make shooting easier. Improving qual scores, which is being looked at, in these days of reducing everything to easily tested oversimplifications.

      Someone figured an easier to qualify with gun would make him look better to some clueless superior. And an S&W salesrep very much aware of this dynamic, played to his preconviction, and made a hefty commission.

      Perhaps at least partially because OEM salesreps had less data to pick over back then, there was much less of these gun switch overs and gun problems reported back in the revolver era. If going back to 4″ magnums is stepping to far back, give the guys a 15rd 357 Sig with a proper DA, DAK or LEM trigger, to mimic the firing dynamics of their guns and ammo from that halcyon era. Then have them start training and stop changing.

  28. @ jwm and D.G. – Back in 2011, I bought a 1975 M15-3 for $375 +ship & FFL. This baby of mine has V.G. bluing except for some wear around the muzzle. Guess I got lucky eh?

    BTW- its stamped…WAIT FOR IT…L.A.S.D. I wonder if that stamp devalues it?

  29. When are the powers that be going to realize that so long as they insist on hiring barely trained fools, the best choice to keep them from shooting themselves and each other is a double action revolver?
    Yeah, I know all about the increase in firepower out of a semi auto. The question is, since most officers will not even be trained with their weapon well enough to keep them from shooting each other by accident, is giving them a gun with MORE ammo really the intelligent solution?

  30. Well I guess I’ll chime in here. I’ve been working at LASD for many years. Our training has gone to shit and its been shit for a long time. The first thing I said when I heard about the transition to the M&P was, “gonna be a lot of idiots who AD.” The 4 hour “training” course they gave us on the M&P was a joke and was really rushed. The majority of the deuputies who took the training left there not even knowing how to do simple things like, field stripping their weapons. Do you want to know how often we are required to train with our weapons?? Up until last year, once every four months!!! And guess how many rounds we shot once we finally got to shoot? 20 rounds!… Now our training has been “pushed up” to once every 3 months and shoot around 30 rounds. I shoot anywhere from 1-2K round a year on my own because I know as “professionals” we should be proficient with our weapons. I’ll end this with this… You know what our current Sheriff is currently in the process of changing?? Our uniforms, from having silver buttons on our belt keepers to gold buttons. Thank you sir for addressing that VERY cirital component in our gear and completely disregarding much important things like say, MORE TRAINING.

  31. DA/SA triggers are the way to go. It forces the user to really want to fire. And then they have a much lighter pull for any follow on shots.

    • Yeah, giving folks a lifesaving tool that is deliberately more difficult to use effectively is a great idea. It’s only a few wild misses flying around, hardly any innocent folks will get hurt/killed, usually.

    • That does create yet another problem, though. The transition from DA to SA is slower because your finger wants to return all the way back to where it was when it started pulling. That makes the second shot slower than it would have been with a DAO trigger. I managed to train around it, but it took a lot. Since the powers that be are stuck on a very minimal amount of training, if they insist on keeping autos the only choice should be a DAO.
      But the DA revolver that most depts had prior to the 80s is the real answer. Since most LEOs can’t hit a barn from inside of it, the last thing in the world they should have is MORE ammo.
      They need encouragement to be more careful, and to shoot LESS, not more. Spray and pray just doesn’t work for anything but fire suppression. One would think the authorities would have learned that by now, but its not working that way. Instead, just like the antis, their only answer is to do more of what has already failed.

      • I’ll second the DAO recommendation. DA/SA is nice for people who can really stand to benefit from the slight increase in accuracy and speed the SA followups provides. But those guys probably aren’t directing traffic with loaded guns to begin with…..

        DAO guns can be used very effectively, if properly trained with. And their advantage is, poor training shows up easily at the range and during qualification (probably why buttons-before-training higherups don’t much care for them….). Not intermittently and unpredictably as ADs.

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